Saturday, October 8, 2011

Life in 1908, Sears, Roebuck & Co. Style

     They chose from two closely-printed pages of hernia trusses (Single Elastic, Double Elastic, Hard Rubber, Calf-Leather Covered French Spring, or Infants’ Umbilical). They concealed said trusses under union suits of Grey Merino. They passed their trussed-and-union-suited evenings listening to 18¢ Columbia Talking Machine Records such as Hi! Le! Hi! Lo! Yodle or Darkies’ Jubilee Piccolo Solo.
     Yet . . . they had veils of Silk Illusion. Their face powders were not only “perfectly impalpable”, but ambiguously named for Manon Lescaut, an 18th-century demoiselle whose morals were of the loosest. And their graphophones’ Flower Horns came hand-painted in White Roses, Wild Roses, Chrysanthemums, and Pansies.

Illustrated by Margaret Nieradka.

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